New NHS record as more than 54,000 patients wait 12 hours to get into A&E

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A record 54,532 people waited more than 12 hours in A&E departments in England last month from a decision to admit to actually being admitted, the NHS has said.

New NHS England data shows that 54,532 people waited longer than 12 hours in December, up 44.1 per cent from 37,837 in November and the highest total in records dating back to August 2010.

The number waiting at least four hours from the decision to admit to admission also hit a new record high of 170,283 in December, up 18.3 per cent from 143,949 the previous month.

A total of 65.0 per cent of patients in England were seen within four hours in A&Es last month, down from 68.9 per cent in November and the worst performance on record.

The operational standard is that at least 95 per cent of patients attending A&E should be admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours, but this has not been met nationally since 2015.

The figures published on Thursday come amid what officials say is the toughest winter the health service has ever faced.

Meanwhile, the number of patients waiting more than 52 weeks to start hospital treatment has fallen to 406,575, new figures show.

This was down slightly from the record high of 410,983  recorded at the end of October, according to NHS data published on Thursday.

It is the first month-on-month fall since February 2022, officials said.

The government and NHS England have set the ambition of eliminating all waits of more than a year by March 2025.

The number of people in England waiting to start routine hospital treatment has fallen slightly from a record high.

An estimated 7.19 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of November, NHS England said.

This is down from 7.21 million in October, which was the highest number since records began in August 2007.

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